In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the International Humanitarian and Philanthropic Council, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, has opened the AVPN Global Conference 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

The 11th edition of the annual conference is taking place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and was attended by Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa, President and CEO of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), and a number of officials.

Hosted at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, the event aims to unite social investment efforts and drive humanitarian action in Asia. The Abu Dhabi edition will also harness the UAE’s ability to unite diverse stakeholders in support of innovative and inclusive global development.

Opening remarks were delivered by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, setting the stage for three days of impactful dialogue and collaboration. The first day of the conference saw UAE organisations commit to a landmark US$125 million in funding for global health, poverty alleviation, and species conservation. In addition, a milestone pact was announced between the UAE and Indonesia to reduce plastic pollution in rivers.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, said: “Abu Dhabi is honoured to host such a distinguished group of influential political, societal, economic, and business leaders, reflecting the status of the United Arab Emirates as a country committed to regional and global progress and cooperation. We emphasize a strong belief that we must think and work together as a family of equals, with the most prosperous aiding those who are in need.  We all must continue to be sources for optimism in Asia and the world.

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said: “The UAE and Abu Dhabi’s leadership within global development and philanthropy demonstrates our commitment to advancing the humanitarian agenda to uplift vulnerable communities around the world. In hosting the AVPN Global Conference, the UAE further highlights the opportunity to work in partnership with countries and communities to address global challenges and promote prosperity worldwide.”

Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN, said: "The presence of prolific and influential social impact world leaders at the opening day of the AVPN Global Conference underscored the importance of collaboration and shared values in our social impact ecosystem. Their insights and advocacy have set the stage for three days of meaningful dialogue and action, and we are privileged to be the global platform for the announcements of many transformative initiatives and funds."

The event, which is AVPN’s largest to date and is taking place in West Asia for the first time, has gathered more than 1,500 delegates from around the world, including investors, philanthropists, researchers, policymakers, and other professionals who seek to unite on social and environmental challenges over three days.

The conference, the flagship event of AVPN, Asia’s largest network of social investors, journeys to different locations every year, bringing together the region’s social investing ecosystem to learn, connect and unite in action for Asia.

Key announcements

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development

The UAE announced a US$50 million commitment to the second phase of the Lives and Livelihoods Fund 2.0 (LLF 2.0), a multi-donor development initiative that supports Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) member countries in building sustainable pathways out of poverty.

The funding will be deployed by LLF 2.0 in support of critical projects in health and infectious diseases, agriculture, and social infrastructure in low and lower-middle income IsDB member countries. In addition to targeting root causes of poverty, food insecurity, and poor health outcomes, the investments aim to support 32 member countries to achieve 10 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The financing will be administered by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and is in addition to the US$50 million the UAE has contributed to the LLF since its launch in 2016.

Reaching the Last Mile

Reaching the Last Mile, a portfolio of global health programmes driven by the philanthropy of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, announced a US$15 million commitment to the Abu Dhabi-based Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE), its second since the institute’s launch in 2019. The grant confirms Reaching the Last Mile’s belief in GLIDE’s mission to realize a world free from preventable infectious diseases, and affirms Abu Dhabi as a partner in global health progress, innovation, and collaboration. 

Clean Rivers 

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia today announced a landmark initiative through the signing of a memorandum of understanding. Clean Rivers, a global non-profit dedicated to tackling riverine plastic pollution, will be the implementation partner to tackle the urgent environmental challenge of plastic waste leaking into the oceans around Indonesia. The UAE and Indonesia will cooperate on a number of vital areas, including capacity building and increasing stakeholder awareness, and the design and delivery of economically sustainable circular waste systems.

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, Managing Director of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, announced a contribution of US$40 million by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nayhan, President of the UAE, to the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund to help preserve biodiversity. The fund, established by His Highness in 2009, has supported conservation efforts in 170 countries. The latest contribution will increase the fund’s endowment to more than US$70 million by 2028.

Additionally, the first day of the conference held a series of engaging keynote speeches and panel discussions, centred around the pressing social needs of Asia and the launch of many transformative initiatives such as:

  • One Asia: Tackling Our Shared Challenges Together – featuring Becky Anderson (CNN), Gabriel Leung (Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust), Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno (Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of The Republic of Indonesia)
  • Why We Give: Values, Beliefs, and Motivations that Drive Impact – featuring H.E. Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi (Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates), Tom Hall (UBS Optimus Foundation), Veronica Colondam (YCAB Foundation)